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Longhorns hook Hugoton in 49-26 win

Published 9/8/2012

By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

HOLCOMB — Very often, the game following a huge upset win can be a letdown.

That's what Holcomb was looking to avoid after defeating the preseason top-ranked team in 2A (Meade) to open the season last Friday.

Longhorns coach Jerry Johnson had his team well prepared for Week 2, though, as Holcomb took care of Hugoton 49-26 Friday.

The Longhorns followed last week's one-point win over Meade with a Great Western Activities Conference over the Eagles in high fashion at home.

Holcomb coach Jerry Johnson said coming out fast and strong was the focus for this game to prevent the second-week slumber.

"That's what we tried to across to these guys all week," he said. "The difference between an average team and a good team is the fact that you don't have letdowns after big victories."

Establishing the good team early was the key to this game, he said. And establish they did.

Holcomb amassed 209 yards of offense to Hugoton's 112 in dominating the first half.

After the Eagles fumbled away the ball on the second play of the game, Blake Richmeier scored from 15 yards out for Holcomb.

On their next possession, the Longhorns' Tyler LaSalle took the first play 58 yards, breaking breaking two tackles at the line of scrimmage, cutting across the field to his own sideline, then sprinting in for Holcomb's second score.

Aaron Hernandez scored from three yards as the quarter ended with Holcomb already up 19-0.

Hernandez scored with 1:30 left in the half and LaSalle hit Jeremy Cox from 17 out following an Eagle fumble as time wound down and the Longhorns up 34-6.

LaSalle hit Cox one more time in the third to complete the seniors' night and give way to younger replacements.

LaSalle, who rushed and passed for over 2,000 yards last year, was in track meet mode again Friday, rushing eight times for 126 yards. He also threw for 101 yards.

"He's a special player," Johnson said. "The biggest thing about him this year is his leadership. He helps me out on the field. Half the time, our best play is when he drops back to pass and decides to run. He's good at making something out of nothing."

As a team, the Longhorns rushed 43 times for 276 yards (377 yards combined).

That was without junior Heath Tucker, who tweaked a knee in practice and sat out this game as a precaution.

"If we were later in the season and this was playoff time or district time, he would have gone. But there's no need second game of the year," Johnson said. "Kansas football is all about the end and you want to have all your players healthy at the end."

Hugoton (0-2) rushed for 259 yards, with 96 of those coming in the final quarter with backup players.

Hugoton's lone first-half score came on a 10-play drive with 2:44 left, as quarterback Yates Sutton dragged the Holcomb defense with him from eight yards out.

The Eagles scored three times in the fourth quarter, twice on runs of 26 and 45 yards by backup quarterback Michael Baeza after the game was long decided.

The next challenge for Holcomb (2-0) is next week at Scott City. Johnson said he knows the Longhorns will have to continue playing well.

"It's a big game for the league. It's a big game for us," he said. "We haven't done too well there the past few years. Our kids want to go in there and play well."

Senior leadership will be important, he added. Right now they have the team playing well and want to see that continue.

"They're looking forward to this game. We have a lot of preparation to do and a lot of mistakes to clean up," Johnson said. "We're excited. I'm excited for it. I think the kids are excited for it. It's a great time to have the matchup."

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Hugoton 0 6 0 20 — 26

Holcomb 19 15 7 8 — 49

Scoring by quarters

1st quarter

Hol--Richmeier 15 run (run failed) 10:32

Hol--LaSalle 58 run (pass failed) 7:40

Hol--Hernandez 3 run (Guerrero kick) :00

2nd quarter

Hug--Sutton 8 run (run failed) 2:44

Hol--Hernandez 4 run (LaSalle to Gilbert) 1:30

Hol--LaSalle 17 pass to Cox (Guerrero kick) :12

3rd quarter

Hol--LaSalle 15 pass to Cox (Guerrero kick) 8:55

4th quarter

Hug--Walker 1 run (pass failed) 9:41

Hug--Baeza 26 run (pass failed) 6:51

Hol--Casaus 11 run (Gottschalk run) 3:58

Hug--Baeza 45 run (Watkins run) 1:51

Individual statistics

RUSHING--Hugoton: Baeza 2-71, Davis 8-53, Barnes 9-42, Camacho 3-25, Sutton 12-22; Holcomb: LaSalle 8-128, Hernandez 11-53, Richmeier 5-28.

PASSING--Hugoton: Sutton 3-8-33; Holcomb: LaSalle 6-14-101.

RECEIVING--Hugoton: Persinger 1-17, Littell 1-21, Davis 1-5; Holcomb: Cox 3-67, Roth 2-19, Gilbert 1-15.

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